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International Student's Learning Includes Meeting Roommate, Considering American Culture on Move-In Day

Christelle KreijkesMove-In Day, Friday, Aug. 24 is among the first days of a single semester on the eighth floor of Cramer Hall for Christelle Kreijkes, who found herself full of anticipation concerning her daily life and education at Ferris State University.

Kreijkes is an international student studying Business Administration at Hogeschool Utrecht, the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Her school is among the 10 partner universities affiliated with Ferris’ International Education program. Kreijkes has come to Big Rapids through an exchange program, as she pursues her degree.

“I wanted to come to America, and felt that Ferris was the best choice available,” Kreijkes said. “I recently completed a three-month internship in the Canary Islands, where I worked in the public relations department of a hotel. This will be the second time I have left The Netherlands for my education. I enjoy going outside my comfort zone for new experiences.”

Beyond her journey from Europe, to continue her education, Kreijkes said she was looking forward to meeting Eden Pena, her roommate.

“I had been given a couple of destinations from Housing and Residence Life, prior to learning that I would be staying in Cramer,” Kreijkes said. “I have not met Eden, at this point, so I am a bit curious, since I could not track her down through social media before coming onto campus. I am looking forward to our time together.”

Kreijkes said while she does expect to spend most of her time on the Ferris campus, she is looking forward to learning more about the Midwest and the United States during her time at the university.

“Through the Office of International Education, I have met other international students,” Kreijkes said. “We are planning to make a trip to Chicago, which I think will be very enjoyable. It will also be fun to see what the campus and Big Rapids community can offer.”

Kreijkes said that she would also be relating her experiences of getting acclimated to the U.S. to her sister and parents back in The Netherlands, which includes picking up necessities for school, and her free time in Cramer Hall.

“I went to a Wal-Mart, which is a real experience, compared to the way we make our purchases in The Netherlands,” Kreijkes said. 

Kreijkes is among 300 international students at Ferris, who hail from 40 countries, and one of the 3,000 students taking their places in the university’s residence halls and campus apartments. Fall 2018 semester classes started Monday, Aug. 27.

PHOTO CAPTION: Christelle Kreijkes, a third-year student in Business Administration, is beginning a semester-long exchange program at Ferris State University. She is a native of Utrecht, The Netherlands, where she attends Hogeschool Utrecht, which is a partner institution through Ferris’ Office of International Education.